Fancy this in October, the lastMosquito of summer left buzzing alone,Its last fling in my room on the sixth floorOf a tower block hotel; marooned like oneIn the seventh decade with only the pastTo look forward to, as the one sure
Topic he can buzz round with some old chum.‘I had a good bloody summer,’ it seems to say,‘With waiter and bellman, and that prim peachWho keeps the consultant’s books across the way.’And for one last sally it swoops and bites my thumb.So I bite mine back at it, and reach
For a folded newspaper; all the same awareHow much I resemble it, my own small spitesAnd hopeless needs reduced to the last flingOf one who doles out charm in sexless bitesTo check-out girls and bank clerks as if to swear,‘Oh man, I buzz and suck like anything!’
by Alan Brownjohn
'Mosquito' is copyright © Alan Brownjohn, 2011. It is reprinted from The Saner Places: Selected Poems by permission of Enitharmon Press.
Notes from Enitharmon:
Drawing on six decades of work, this new selection charts Alan Brownjohn's
idiosyncratic take on the issues for which his poetry is known - love
(and sex), time (and mortality) and our ecological and cultural
environment (threatened and abused).
Brownjohn was born in London in 1931 and was educated at Merton
College, Oxford. He worked as a schoolteacher between 1957 and 1965 and
lectured at Battersea College of Education and South Bank Polytechnic
until he left to become a full-time freelance writer in 1979. A regular
broadcaster, reviewer and contributor to journals including the Times Literary Supplement, Encounter and the Sunday Times, Alan Brownjohn was poetry critic for the New Statesman
and was Chairman of the Poetry Society between 1982 and 1988. He has
also served on the Arts Council literature panel, was a Labour
councillor and a candidate for Parliament. In 2007, he received the
Writers' Guild's Lifetime Achievement Award. You can find out more about
Brownjohn in these interviews, and hear him read some of his poems at the Poetry Archive.
Enitharmon Press takes its name from a William Blake
character who represents spiritual beauty and poetic inspiration.
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has been associated with such figures as Samuel Beckett, Harold Pinter
and Kathleen Raine. Enitharmon also commissions internationally renowned
collaborations between artists, including Gilbert & George, and
poets, including Seamus Heaney, under the Enitharmon Editions imprint.
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